Tentative softwood lumber truce was a ‘betrayal of the industry’

Every Friday we feature Valley history taken from our back issues.

Five years ago this week in the Comox Valley Record:

There was nothing soft about the words used to describe a tentative softwood lumber truce between Canada and the U.S.

“I think it’s a betrayal of the industry,” Vancouver Island North MP Catherine Bell said.

The deal was touted as the solution to the tariff collection that racked the Canadian lumber industry.

But Woodland Flooring owner Steve Roscoe felt the agreement had too many unanswered questions.

“I don’t see how we take this plan, this agreement, and do business with it,” he said.

Ten years ago this week in the Comox Valley Record:

Cumberland council may at last get its wish to have its section of the Island Highway named Miners’ Way, said MLA Stan Hagen.

Former highways minister Corky Evans named the section after martyred labour leader Ginger Goodwin in 1996. Mayor Bronco Moncrief said the decision ignored the wishes of Cumberland, though Goodwin organized miners during the strike of 1912-1914 and is buried in the Village cemetery.

Villagers wanted the highway renamed Miner’s Way to honour all workers in the Cumberland mines.

Fifteen years ago this week in the Comox Valley Record:

The thieves may have been heartless, but they sure had a lot of sole.

An unusual incident at Searle’s Shoes on the Canada Day weekend began with a stolen safe, continued with unwelcome visitors to the untended Fifth Street shop and ended with the apprehension of a hog-tied youth.

After the safe was stolen, police said the suspects fled and left the back door open. Word of the open door spread to the skateboard park.

“At least two groups of people stole shoes from the store,” RCMP Staff-Sgt. Jim Hogarth said.

The owner happened to enter the store when three youths were helping themselves to shoes.

“He caught one of them and tied him up with shoelaces, then held him ’til police arrived,” Hogarth said.

Police executed a search warrant at a Courtenay residence where they found the safe.

Twenty years ago this week in the Comox Valley Record:

A “desert of aggressive, inappropriate and unnecessarily ugly” business was growing in Merville, a resident said.

Blasting the regional board for letting a metal recycling business stay on the Island Highway, Sarah McLoughlin asked if there were laws to “restrict the messes people make of their properties.”

Aside from a few tidy developments, she said companies on the east side of the highway make no effort to clean or disguise their mess.

If the board didn’t crack down, McLoughlin predicted strip development from Merville to Campbell River. But Area C director Harold Macy said rural issues are seldom black and white. Everyone can’t make a living selling pottery, antiques and macrame plant-hangers to tourists, and there’s a human side to “ugly” businesses, he said.

Twenty five years ago this week in the Comox Valley Record:

Attorney-General Brian Smith was seeking support for the leadership of the Social Credit Party at a dinner at the Kingfisher Inn.

Smith — holidaying on Hornby Island the previous 15 years — wasn’t making any promises. When asked about a possible four-lane highway between Parksville and Campbell River, he said he wouldn’t be promising that to win delegates.

On the contentious issue of First Nation fishing rights, he said the province had stuck out its neck in supporting an injunction against a bylaw allowing a commercial native fishery on the Skeena River.


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